WATCH: Philip Rosedale & Kent Bye On How A VR-Driven “Experiential Age” Might Evolve Our Relationship To Material Possessions, The Economy — And Each Other

In case you missed it, here’s last week’s fireside chat held within High Fidelity featuring the avatars of SL/HiFi founder Philip Rosedale and VR evangelist Kent Bye. I couldn’t attend, but famed HiFi content creator XaosPrincess (seen stage left in the amazing gown, more on that later) was there, and she suggested some highlights:

  • Around 15:00 minutes in, when Ken starts talking about the Experimental Age, and what that means.
  • About 22:00 minutes: Philip talking about how we’ll remain in physical, real life contact with our family and close friends, while offloading much of our “loose tie” social relationships to VR spaces. They go on to talk about access to VR experiences, and how to monetize them: Subscription fee vs. a donation model.
  • After 42:30 minutes: The Yin and Yang principles of social VR.

XaosPrincess’ in-person notes:

“To me,” she tells me, “the most insightful quote of the talk was Kent pointing out that ‘We’re moving from the Information Age into the Experiential Age’. As someone who just loves being in VR, I’ve always had a vague feeling about this, but it was only after listening to Kent’s and Philip’s talk that I realized just how huge the potential of experiential technologies (like VR, AR & AI) having a deep impact on people’s hearts and minds really can be.”

That shift has some interesting applications for material possessions and our relationship to them:

Fireside Chat High Fidelity Social VR Philip Rosedale Ken Bye

“With the Experiential Age,” as Xaos puts, summarizing Bye, “we are moving from a materialistically-driven world, in which people just want to own and consume products, to a world which is much more about the instant: In order to have an experience you actually have to be there, so the access to experiences will supersede the ownership of objects regarding psychological impact and importance.

“Referring to this, Kent had a very interesting philosophical take on how the economy could work in the future: Instead of a subscription fee which could put creators under update and innovation pressure, a donation or gift economy like that practiced in Buddhism could lead to higher creative freedom and therefore, more diverse and interesting experiences.”

I’m personally skeptical if that’s possible, because I’ve seen too many great virtual experience creators go broke depending on the Buddhistic benevolence of others. But it doesn’t hurt to hope a Yin/Yang models may arise:

“In the Experiential Age,” says Xaos, citing Kent, “Yin-based principles like cooperation as well as emotional and embodied presence will become as – or even more – important than the Yang-based principles like competition and mental presence.”

Alternately, both will exist in tandem and in fierce competition with each other. Anyway, fascination conversation and insights (and reactions from Ms. XP.